This is the winning entry for the Raptors’ Written Word (the Club’s monthly writing contest) for the month of July.
Prompts for this month was ‘A story about a parent-child relationship from the parent’s pov (compulsory) that ends with a question (optional).’
Enjoy reading this really beautifully crafted story!
Just a story
“Am I a decent father?
Am I raising my child honestly?”
I asked myself, for he did it again. Slipped out of the house without giving proper justification. This has happened a lot in the past few days and I’m unable to understand how can I put him on the right track.
God knows what is going on in his mind these days. I feel so offended to respond when my friends ask what my son is doing during this lockdown, while their children are busy studying for next semester or exercising their hobbies.
I never scolded him or forced him in his life. I have always explained what is right what is wrong while leaving the decision to him. It’s not that he disheartened me all these years, but I’m more concerned about him now since I’ve observed him going out often, and that too without notifying us.
True, he has evolved a lot. He’s not anymore the child who played on my shoulders. Sometimes, looking at him, I reminisce about the boy I once was, roaming around like a free bird. My father always gave me freedom. He’s the man I have always looked at with pride and he always stood tall as my hero. I wish I could raise my son like him. But I doubt my efficiency, looking at how fast the world is changing.
The Internet connects everyone, and people have become newfangled. Time is precious now in this fast generation while surprisingly they waste it a lot too. It appears like just a mobile phone in hands is enough for all kinds of recreations. The definition of socialization has changed and virtual dependency is slowly eating reality…
Oops! I’m sorry, I got distracted.
Anyway, he did it again, and I don’t feel comfortable. I’ll be strict from now on. Will ask where is he taking off, without even informing us.
Oh, here he comes! My prince.
“Wait! Where did you go?”
The same reply.
And with just a smile.
But his face is glowing with contentment.
“Leave him, he’s not a small child”, entered my father to rescue his lovely grandson. These two are sure a wonder, for I never could digest how they’ve become such great friends, supporting each other.
“Are you ready for one more game grandpa?” asked my prince, taking out the chessboard while he already knew the answer.
I watched them play. That enthusiasm in their eyes is always a pleasure to watch.
“Oh, so you’ve come. Finally!
Where were you? Why have you become so irresponsible and reckless? Can’t you see how’s the world outside? Don’t you fear the virus?”
Wow! My wife is so better than me when it comes to dealing with our son. He paused, looked up, smiled, and got busy in the game again. My wife, well, she is more compassionate. She went back to the kitchen to continue doing her chores. But I could hear her disappointment from the sounds of utensils. This lockdown didn’t give any holiday to the women. They have to work all the time.
What’s this sound?
“Oh, it’s my friend calling. I wonder what’s the matter.”
“Hey, you never spoke this to us. Wow! You’re such a great father.”
“Wait! What didn’t I speak about?”
“Well, I’m speaking about your son going out to help the poor and old, distributing food and water. Aren’t you watching the local news now?”
Confused, I disconnected the call, switched on the tv and turned to a local news channel. It’s showed the activities of a small group of young boys who were serving those in need during this lockdown, and there was an interview showing my prince speaking about it. The game of chess paused. The cooking paused. We all were watching the news.
I got the answers to the questions I asked myself a while ago.
I looked at my son.
He was smiling.
There was a ray of satisfaction in his eyes.
His phone rang. He looked at me.
Without hesitation, I said, “go”.
I sat to continue the game that my son left.
My wife was singing happily from the kitchen.
My father put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m proud of you”.
A drop of tear rolled down my cheek.
Written by – Ram Subrahmanyam VGRSS, B